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A Covid-19 morgue made from refrigerated trailers is pictured at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in New York on December 14th. Michael Nagle / Xinhua / Getty

The influential coronavirus model at the University of Washington assumes that 562,000 Americans will have died from Covid-19 by April 1, 2021 – significantly more than forecasted last week when 502,000 deaths were forecast to that date.

The Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment (IHME) model states that the increase is due to an increase in cases and deaths, with the increase being particularly strong in California. This puts an enormous strain on the hospital system.

“Forty-seven states will have high or extreme stresses on hospital beds at some point between December and April,” IHME predicted. “49 states will have high or extreme stress on ICU capacity from December through April.”

“Overall, we expect the national daily death toll to continue to rise to a high of over 3,750 in mid-January,” the statement said.

Mitigating circumstances: The introduction of the vaccination could save up to 34,500 lives by April 1, according to IHME.

The institute reiterated the importance of wearing a mask to keep the numbers down.

“If 95% of people wore a mask when they left the house, the model predicts 55,000 fewer deaths by that date,” it said. “By December 14th, 73% of people always wore a mask when leaving the house.”

IHME analyzed mobility in the US and found that visits to restaurants and bars decreased in November after increasing in summer.

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